Let's file this one away in the category of "Why didn't I think of that?" A Detroit company called has built a set of wiper arms that will smack themselves agains the windshield, shaking ice and snow loose. It's a product of a company called Motor City Wiper. These systems aren't for sale yet, although the company is currently looking for an angel investor for the product, after shopping it around to automakers and suppliers and being disappointed by the level of interest.

Now, we understand that our southern readers might not understand how useful this would be (although based on this winter's weather, they might), so we'll provide a quick explanation. Snow and ice mess with windshield wipers. They might prevent the wipers from actually making contact with the windshield or lead to horrible, annoying streaks of water. Either scenario usually ends with the driver reaching out the window while the wipers are going and picking the blades up and smacking them back down on the window to clear the ice. It is arguably the worst thing about winter, outside of shoveling and road salt.

This system is operated manually, via a pair of buttons near the ignition. It looks like it can be easily switched on or off, to prevent accidental use, as well. Our big concern would surround the windshield - the system doesn't look particularly delicate in the way it slams back down on the glass.

We've got video of this new wiper system in action, and we want to know what you think. Is this something that strikes you as a must-have feature? Take a look at the video and then have your say in Comments.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 71 Comments
      svntsvn
      • 9 Months Ago
      For those of you who presume people are just lazy, try driving home in a snow storm. When it builds up on the blades, just pull over in your friendly white-out conditions and clean the whole set up after you just did 10 miles ago! I think that perspective of being lazy is dead wrong. 14-16 snow storms this winter has been very brutal on the roads, and Ice and snow can build up on a vehicle in short time during a storm. The video is dumb. They waited for a snow fall to occur over night shot it the next morning. It gets you to think this is for the lazy people. BUT look at the use it could have while actually driving in snow?
        Cool Disco Dan
        • 9 Months Ago
        @svntsvn
        I've never had this issue between the defrost and engine heat and movement of the wipers once its clean it stays clean.
          Unanything
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Cool Disco Dan
          Good for you.
          pinsimms99
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Cool Disco Dan
          Well, I have had issues even with defrost, engine heat, and movement of the wipers. In a heavy, wet snow, it accumulates and pulling over on the side of a road in whiteout conditions to repeatedly clean off the windshield and wipers isn't very safe. I know, I'm SOOOO lazy!!!!!
          SpacemanSpiff
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Cool Disco Dan
          If you never go faster than 10mph and the temps are not far below freezing, sure. But try driving like you actually have somewhere to be when it's like ten out and snowing hard, and the defroster and engine heat aren't always enough to keep ice off the wipers. I've experienced it in many vehicles old and new, some are worse than others. And unless you're gonna pull over and sit for 30 minutes for them to thaw (and again 10 minutes later), you have no other option than to stop and remove the ice by hand. Just because it's never happened to you doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 9 Months Ago
      For the people who think this is "lazy" are not looking at weather and environmental situations clearly. When your blades ice up and become ineffective, there is not always a place to pull over safely to clean them. After the last winter we encountered, you would think this is a very useful feature.
      Nancy
      • 9 Months Ago
      As one guy stated, subaru has heating elements under the blades (according to my Ford dealer). Ford copied this idea on the rear hatch/glass of my 2013 Focus...I doubt my front wipers have it though. One other advantage of this slapping wiper idea is that wipers can become full of ice as you're driving - that's one reason for "winter blades" which are sealed. You only need to bang the wiper 2-3 inches usually, and if they would design it to bang the blade near the front/bottom of the windshield, it would not matter if it scratched the windshield. T To those who mentioend heated wipers - hwwo would you add that feature to a car that doesn't have that feature, which is 95-99% of the cars on the road?
      Nicholas
      • 9 Months Ago
      If there's anything that needs slapping, it's people who text while driving.
      henryhbk
      • 9 Months Ago
      The video is kind of silly (using your wipers to clear you car is just abusive to the blades, use a brush), but I imagine they had no facility to demonstrate the real use of this, which is icing during driving. For those not from cold climates this is a real problem. For those who say the defroster can keep up, it can't (the other day we were driving in a storm of 6" per hour (~15cm) and it was wet heavy snow just below freezing. The stuff was like glue. Of course we had the defroster on full, and have high-end winter blades. We had to slap the blades repeatedly). This isn't an everyday problem in light dustings or just snowy days, but can be quite dangerous in major storms (since pulling over is very dangerous and reaching out in a minivan is quite a long reach). I have never met/heard of anyone cracking an intact window with slapping blades (if you have a chipped window, well then...). The cars with the warm areas of the windshield in the "parking" area for the blades, can't get the ice off either very well. Heated blades and heated windshield washers work OK, but the blades particularly are very expensive. Ford has a powerful heated windshield for a while where they got the whole glass pretty hot, which worked, the only problem was radar detectors, toll RFID tags, etc couldn't see through it, so it got canned.
      mumbojumbo
      • 9 Months Ago
      This is brilliant in a simple way. For people in the snow belt this is better than heated wiper rests because those only work on the very bottom of the windshield. Even blasting heat from the defroster doesn't work to clear this gunk on your wipers. I've ruined my wiper blades before trying to clear them the way the editor mentioned, but this looks great. Just hit them a few times every once in awhile and they won't be iced up. Sign me up for an aftermarket retrofit kit.
      Andrew Berardinelli
      • 9 Months Ago
      I wouldn't hesitate to put these on any vehicle I own. Such a great idea.
      Sergio Freddson
      • 1 Month Ago
      I don't think this is lazy at all, I think this is genius! It is such a huge hassle to get out of the car and clean off your windshield manually during a storm. I wonder how hard these are to get installed in a vehicle. Thanks for sharing with us!

      http://www.briteviewglass.com/services/edmonton-automotive-glass
      Tim
      • 9 Months Ago
      I also hear this company also has a significant interest in a windshield replacement business as well.. lol
      Cool Disco Dan
      • 9 Months Ago
      Or you could just clean your wind shield off. Are people really this lazy?
        MistyGreen
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Cool Disco Dan
        Yea, good point. People are too lazy to pump their own brakes now, they need ABS to do it for them. And they're too lazy to clean off their windshields when they get foggy or dirty, they need a little lever to spray liquid on it for them, instead of getting out and doing it themselves. Gosh.
      v6sonoma
      • 9 Months Ago
      How about people just get off their asses and clean their cars off like they are supposed to.
        b.rn
        • 9 Months Ago
        @v6sonoma
        I'm very good about cleaning off my car before I head out. Ice can still build up on the blade while I'm driving. I then get to play the reach my hand around the windshield game at stoplights (assuming I'm not on the highway). This thing is awesome.
        Technoir
        • 9 Months Ago
        @v6sonoma
        Then why using wiper blades? U should wipe your windshield manually during rainfall!
        ibewebay
        • 9 Months Ago
        @v6sonoma
        Lol. Then what, ask the sky to stop snowing? It may actually continue to snow after you clean off your car "like you are supposed to". Stupid ass
          Cool Disco Dan
          • 9 Months Ago
          @ibewebay
          By then your windshield should be warm enough from the defroster to melt it once its hits along with the engine heat keeping snow from sticking. Have you ever driven in the snow?
          EXP Jawa
          • 9 Months Ago
          @ibewebay
          * snow/sleet conditions, though snot might be appropriate sometimes...
          EXP Jawa
          • 9 Months Ago
          @ibewebay
          Dan, the windshield may be warm enough to keep the ice off but the wiper blades are not. In snot/sleet conditions, especially just below freezing, wiper blades can clog with ice. Even winter blades can build up enough ice to render them less effective. Really, have you ever driven in the snow?
      MotionDesigner
      • 9 Months Ago
      Simply slapping your wiper blade down can make a crack on your windshield. I've seen it happen on a friend's car. Also, if your wipers are covered with ice, then most likely your windshield is also covered with ice, so you will be outside scraping that ice off your windshield anyway… at least for people who don't own luxury cars with heated windshields, which is a lot. And if you're going to rely on the "slapping wipers" to knock the ice off the windshield in addition to the wipers, you run that risk of cracking your windshield. Personally I don't think the benefits outweigh the cost.
        Unanything
        • 9 Months Ago
        @MotionDesigner
        I would assume he already had a rock chip or other underlying damage and slapping the window just caused it to go, windshields get hit by rocks and other debri all the time much harder than that windshield wiper slapping it and don't break.
          MotionDesigner
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Unanything
          To clarify: A wiper blade encrusted in hard ice that is wacking down onto your windshield over and over again.
        b.rn
        • 9 Months Ago
        @MotionDesigner
        I've lived in snow country for longer than I care to admit. I've never heard of anyone ever cracking their windshield due to slapping the wiper. Never. I'm not saying it didn't happen to your friend, but I suspect you have a better chance of getting hit by lightening.
          EXP Jawa
          • 9 Months Ago
          @b.rn
          I've never heard of it either, at least when there isn't already damage to the glass, but I have had wiper blades themselves break doing this. It probably depends on the type of blade you use...
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